Annie (1982)

Movie review by
Sarah Wenk, Common Sense Media
Annie (1982) Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Tale of cute orphan is great for the whole family.
  • PG
  • 1982
  • 127 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 45 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 50 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Depicts the American dream of rags to riches through determination -- in both Annie and Daddy Warbucks. Families can be based on more than just blood relationships. Loyalty and friendship are themes, as are courage and gratitude.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Annie displays grit, determination, and optimism as she tries to make the best of her situation. On the downside, Miss Hannigan is hardly a positive adult role model, and Punjab is a fairly stereotypical character.

Violence & Scariness

A "Bolshevik" throws a lit bomb into Daddy Warbucks' office. Mrs. Hannigan often shoves the children around. Some peril -- Annie hangs from a bridge after being chased.

Sexy Stuff

Insinuations between a woman and different men, as she mentions "making hay" and a "tumble with the bundle."

Language

"Goddamn." Children are referred to as "pig droppings" by the antagonist.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Miss Hannigan often appears drunk, slurring her speech and clutching bottles of alcohol. Adult characters smoke cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Annie is the 1982 version of the popular radio show, comic strip, and Broadway musical. Overall it's a charming and entertaining movie for the whole family. But for families sensitive to scenes of drunken behavior, it's important to note that Miss Hannigan (played by Carol Burnett), the caretaker of the run-down orphanage where Annie lives, is often (comically) intoxicated, slurring her speech and clutching bottles of liquor. There are also occasional references to sex ("make hay," "tumble in the bundle"). Cartoonish violence pops up from time to time: A "Bolshevik" throws a lit bomb into Daddy Warbucks' office, and Annie hangs from a bridge after getting chased by the bad guys. And there's some uncomfortable stereotyping in the form of the Punjab character. Still, what emerges overall are the unforgettable songs and the plucky determination of Annie as she goes from rags to riches.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5-year-old Written byAuthor Alys B. Cohen February 11, 2015

I think a lot of people are missing the point

This is a movie set in the 1930's when prohibition was going strong. That's why Miss Hannigan was making bathtub gin instead of buying bottles. Her... Continue reading
Parent of a 5 and 7-year-old Written byAprilMom November 20, 2010
I was really appalled by the racism with respect to the "Indian" and "Chinese" characters (they're both Warbuck's servants), and t... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old October 5, 2010
It is a great movie. They say a bad word and there is drinking and it's scary. It can get a little boring for kids at some parts. My musical theater group... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byhellerbusch May 21, 2020

Pretty good

This movie is pretty good and fairly family friendly. There is one character who is often drunk and really mean in the movie who might scare younger kids. The l... Continue reading

What's the story?

In this film version of the Broadway musical about the parentless Depression-era moppet, spunky red-haired ANNIE (Aileen Quinn) suffers indignities from tough orphanage supervisor Miss Hannigan (Carol Burnett). Ever-hopeful Annie dreams of the day her parents arrive to retrieve her, often singing songs and dancing to the delight of the other orphan girls. Hoping to boost his approval rating with local voters, rich politician Oliver Warbucks (Albert Finney) takes Annie in for a week at his swanky Manhattan mansion. Annie wins over her new caretakers, but Miss Hannigan and her cronies Lily (Bernadette Peters) and Rooster (Tim Curry) see an opportunity to increase their cash flow.

Is it any good?

This film of the Broadway musical is uneven, but its charms take over by the end. The songs are a mixed bag -- "Dumb Dog" is just not all that good, but "It's the Hard-Knock Life" is one you'll have stuck in your head for days, and by the time Annie sings "Tomorrow" to President Roosevelt, you'll be singing it along with her.

Some of the performances are outstanding, particularly Burnett as the drunken Miss Hannigan. In the title role of Annie, Quinn is a fine singer but a bit wooden as an actress. But the orphan girls are adorable, and Finney is wonderfully brusque but really an old softy as Daddy Warbucks.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about musicals like Annie. Why do you think musicals have been popular, on both Broadway and in film?

  • What do you see as the challenges in turning a Broadway musical into a movie?

  • What are some of the ways in which 1930s New York City -- and America -- are shown in the movie?

  • How do the characters in Annie demonstrate courage and gratitude? Why are those important character strengths?

Movie details

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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For kids who love musicals

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